BELMAR, NJ — The “mystery and charm” of postcards are explored in the Belmar Historical Society’s latest “Spotlight on Belmar” video, with a special focus on its 1,100-piece collection featuring many scenes of the borough.

BHS member Rickey Stein offers a historical overview of postcards in the first of two videos on the subject, starting with a look back at their beginnings in Europe to when they entered their “golden age” in the United States during the early 1900s with the advent of the folding pocket camera.

“Real picture postcards became a gigantic commercial success,” said Stein, whose interest in postcards took root when he found a card with the name “Wellworth” printed on it — the name of the Belmar-based store owned by his mother’s family during the 1920s.

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What’s especially interesting is that not all Belmar postcards depict Belmar — as the BHS has determined in comparing cards with actual photos of the borough from those bygone days.

“Pictures that are truly of Belmar hold a lot of hidden information, Stein said. Click here for the video.

Each Sunday, BHS releases a new “Spotlight on Belmar” video on its Facebook page, featuring a society member who explores a specific historical topic related to the borough.

The video series was developed after the coronavirus crisis caused the cancellation of BHS’s free spring classes on the borough’s history at the Belmar History Museum.  

“The BHS officers and trustees decided to offer everyone the opportunity to stay connected to the history of Belmar by offering this series of spotlights to enjoy,” said BHS vice president Pat O'Keefe.

Past videos, which are also posted on its Facebook page, have focused on the borough’s very beginnings, early hotels, Belmar Elementary School, development of the railroad and the history of beach badges.

Meanwhile, BHS is looking forward to the time when the Belmar History Museum, located in the rear of the historic Union Firehouse at 900 E Street, will once again be allowed to welcome visitors. “The BHS officers and trustees are working to prepare for reopening in a way that ensures the safety of both the BHS volunteers and our visitors, and remain in compliance with regulations,” O’Keefe said.

Its members continue to reply to email inquiries at info@belmarhistoricalsociety.org. or 732-309-3380, or for more information, visit its website by clicking here.

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